Exercise as a crappy bandaid

Exercise was once a bandaid for me. It did a pretty average job of covering a wound much too big for it. In many ways, it simply deepened the cut, magnifying my issues. Exercise wasn’t the answer to my problems but I used it in a way that gave me some short lived satisfaction.

Rather than tackling deeper seeded self worth and body image issues I thought that sitting on a spin bike or running would somehow alleviate my sadness. It certainly cleared my mind for a while but after a short time the same destructive thoughts reappeared and so I was left clutching to what soon became an obsession with destroying myself in the gym. I became addicted to the short bursts of relief it offered.

Unfortunately, exercise, weight loss, strict diets, excessive resistance training, back to back sessions and relentless regimes don’t offer a long term cure to feeling sad or worthless or lacking. Trust me, I’ve tried them all.

Hitting the gym can absolutely be a release but like any habit of consolation, it doesn’t actually address the issue.

Your worth doesn’t rely on your ability to burn calories, it doesn’t rely on your stamina to smash out extensive workouts, it doesn’t rely on your resolve to stick to a low calorie diet. Your worth is intrinsic. It’s always there. Your mere presence on earth is solid evidence of your worth.

You are an energised being with a unique set of skills. Your gift is that you are the only you. Ever. You will never be replicated. Your worth to the world is immeasurable.

I hope you can sit quietly with yourself one day and realise how powerful you are. It’s the recognition of this power and this strength that will forever fuel your sense of self.

Don’t be sucked into the idea, as I was, that your self worth is hiding just beyond your next workout.

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